When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) began and I knew I had a blog to prepare, I seriously had to stop and ask myself about what my topic might be during this time when attractions are mostly on hold. Then I thought that maybe I should check on the attractions that I previously wrote about in 2019 and 2020 to see how they are surviving during this time in history. I couldn’t be any prouder! Let me share with you what I discovered.
Strawberry Fields Forever
Patterson Farm Market & Tours, Inc. was another enjoyable blog for me and I was very lucky to get to chat with Michelle Patterson recently about how they are coping with the pandemic. Michelle said they are trying to focus on helping their neighbors. The store is open and they are following all protocols for social distancing. Recently my daughter-in-law went to get some of these sweet berries and she said it was super easy. She placed her order online and when they arrived, the strawberries were placed in their car! It can’t get any easier than that! Michelle also mentioned that they are helping other farms by selling some of their produce in their store as well. You can call them at 704-636-4005. Their hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Special hours for Seniors (55 or older) are Tuesdays from 8 – 10 a.m. inside the market. Keep up with them on Facebook!
We Have A Lot to Wine and Brew About
Next up were my wineries. I started with Douglas Vineyards in Enochville and I spoke with owner, Doug Fink, last week about how this was affecting his business. Doug replied, “You may not want to talk about us…we’re selling out of our wines!” That was awesome news. The tasting room is closed, but you can walk in and order wine that you want or call ahead and they will have it ready as well. Their top selling wine is still “Bitchin Blackberry”! I’d have to say it is a favorite of mine as well. Their hours are Friday 12 – 6 p.m. (for now), 11 – 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1 – 5 p.m. on Sundays. I look forward to seeing live music at the vineyard again soon. I can’t wait to sit out on the lawn with some friends. Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date.
Cauble Creek in Salisbury was next on my list and I had a great conversation with owner, Anita Yost, about how they were coping during COVID-19. Anita said they were taking orders and that people can walk in, but the tasting room is closed. On top of wine, they also have food such as jams, jellies, BBQ sauces, and salad dressings for sale. The frozen wine drinks are not up and running as usual, but you can buy a bag of mix to make your own. They are running specials as well on their wines! As of right now they are planning to have the “June Bug Jam” on Saturday, June 27 from 6 – 9 p.m. They are expecting to have live music and a food truck there as well. Follow them on Facebook to keep posted on this event. I don’t know about you, but I can see a glass of “Sweet Anita” in my hand sitting out at the winery.
I talked with Matt at Morgan Ridge Railwalk Brewery and Eatery. They are open as well and ready to serve the citizens of Rowan! You can call in your order and pay over the phone or pay when you arrive to pick up your meal, beer, or wine! They also are doing deliveries if you are within 10 miles. Their hours now are 12 – 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. You can follow them on Facebook to find out about all the delicious food they have from their huge salads, chicken sandwiches, and their grass-fed beef burgers. They are also featuring fish and chips and a rib dinner that will satisfy anyone’s hunger! Along with selling their cooked food they are also selling fresh raw protein! Steaks, ribs, whole chickens, and their famous grass-fed beef! You can contact them at 704-754-8379.
Along with Morgan Ridge Railwalk, there is also Morgan Ridge Vineyards-Brewhouse in Gold Hill! I was lucky enough to attend a function in early March and it’s an absolutely beautiful place to visit! They are continuing to prepare meals that are for pickup. Outside of having all the great prepared foods, raw proteins, great beers, and wine, they also are selling other essential items such as fresh cut fruits, toilet paper, and paper towels. Both businesses are offering discounts on purchases. The new hours are Friday through Saturday 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 2 p.m. You can call them to place an order at 704-639-0911 or follow them on Facebook.
New Sarum Brewery has an outside drive thru set up for the convenience of their customers along with providing delivery within a 10-mile radius! They are staying open now Sunday through Saturday from 12 – 7 p.m. They are also offering discounts on their tasty beverages and still will be releasing a new beer each Friday. Recently they released one of my favorites, “Netflix and Dill”, and coming soon is “I’ll Never Financially Recover from This,” which is a Tiger King referenced brew! Their food truck, Misen en Place, is also serving up delicious food Tuesday through Saturday during the same hours of operation as the brewery.
One of the great ways that New Sarum is giving back to our community is through the sale of their #ROCOSTRONG t-shirts that are $25.00. They will donate $20.00 from each t-shirt sale to the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund. To date they have raised over $2,600.00. More shirts and sizes have been ordered and will be waiting for you! Follow them on Facebook to be up to date on new releases and on the comedy relief videos that Andy Maben is posting frequently. They are hilarious!
Another great brewery I had a chance to write about this year was Old Armor Beer Company that was opened by three friends that were all in the military together. They had barely opened their brewery when the pandemic hit, so I had to ask them how it was going in Downtown Kannapolis. I was lucky to speak to Stefan Perrine again about how they have been affected by COVID-19. They are still up and running, but just a little different. You can still get their great beers by just coming into the side door and placing your order at the bar. As with everyone right now, you can’t enjoy any of your beverages inside or outside the business, but you can get all you want to take home! They are selling growlers and kegs as well. Deliveries can be made within a 10-mile radius, but they are requesting that you call them by 5 p.m. to place your orders. Call them at 704-933-9203.
A fun thing they are doing now is selling “Beer Bonds.” They are $30.00 now, but worth $40.00 when they reopen the taproom! Check them out on Facebook to see more about that! Construction is still going on around them and they are just waiting for everything to open back up with new restaurants and the Cannon Baller Ballpark. They also have new beers coming out such as a Mexican Lager and Blue Line White Stout, which the Kannapolis Police Department helped with, and it will have the flavors of coffee (5 Points Veteran Coffee in Charlotte), vanilla, and chocolate. Stefan left me with these final thoughts that this is “tough times for breweries and restaurants” and he said “buy from smaller locals that need your support!” I totally agree!
West Rowan Home, Farm, and Garden Store/Barn Quilts
Naturally during this time, Elsie Bennett isn’t holding any barn quilt classes and she is having to put on hold, for the moment, continuing to have the biggest barn quilt ever recorded. What they are doing is satisfying the needs of the community and county! They are bringing the pleasures of gardening to us. Elsie and her husband, Brian, along with Miss Terry, are happy to provide all these garden plants such as tomatoes, a variety of peppers, elderberry bushes, artichokes, cucumber plants, hanging baskets and tons of different flowering plants. You can call ahead and they will pull the plants that you want and place them in your car when you drive up. You can pay over the phone, with a card when you arrive, or of course pay with cash.
Elsie also has some take home, smaller barn quilt projects that are considered educational. So, if you are a parent at home and are looking for a fun activity to do with your children, this might be a good idea. They still have their ice cream for sale if you have a sweet tooth! Just grab a cone and take it to your car to enjoy. Their hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays, and you can reach them at 704-278-2800. You can find them on Facebook for all the latest updates.
Tiger World is closed to the public, but the staff is there interacting with the animals. The animals still need feeding, medications, and of course socialization. Tiger World has gotten creative with the public by providing great videos of the animals and ways that folks can still donate to this non-profit. If you are on Amazon, you can support them through Amazon Smile by choosing them as your non-profit. On Facebook, you can still see these beautiful creatures by watching and participating in any of their fundraisers. I, personally, cannot wait to go visit them again and take my grandchildren with me.
Horizons Unlimited and The Rowan Museum
Another fun blog was Horizons Unlimited. I was able to catch up with Amy Pruitt and she filled me in on how they were surviving. Their teaching staff are doing a lot of Facebook Lives and videos on science, history, life science, chemistry, and animals. Needlemouse the Hedgehog and Nertle the Turtle are stars at Horizons as they lead everyone through different themes such as how to build an herb planter and enjoying an Easter Egg Hunt! You can learn from Mr. Pifer and Ms. Meyer about the stars, perform different science experiments, and learn some videography tips and tricks! Don’t forget that behind the Horizons Unlimited Building is a great walking trail! I actually have enjoyed that myself during this!
Another fun thing that has happened is that New Horizons and the Rowan Museum have partnered together to produce “Ramblin’ Around Rowan.” Kyle Whisenant from Horizons Unlimited and Aaron Kepley from the Rowan Museum are producing videos going around Rowan County to the many historical places that we have right here at home! The real star of the show is Molly who is just the cutest little four-legged tour guide around!
The Rowan Museum is closed at this time and the employees have been furloughed to save money; however, they are still all about sharing the rich history of Rowan County by participating with Horizons Unlimited.
The North Carolina Transportation Museum
During the pandemic, the Transportation Museum is closed to the public and their events at this time are on hold. You are welcome to visit them on their Facebook or at www.nctrans.org. They offer a virtual look at the museum so you can continue to learn and enjoy the museum history. You are also encouraged to join their foundation. Follow them on Facebook!
Dan Nicholas: Autumn Jubilee
At this time, Autumn Jubilee is still being planned for October 2 and 3. While planning is continuing on this great event, you will find the park is still open for the public to enjoy the outdoor trails. Keep in mind to practice social distancing while you enjoy the beautiful outdoors! Also, be aware that the playgrounds, picnic shelters, and the campgrounds are all closed at this time. Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on details.
City of Kannapolis
Annette Privette Keller, Director of Communications for the City of Kannapolis gave me a few moments of her time. I met with her when I did the Kannapolis Christmas Parade blog that the town has each year. She stated that they are following state and federal rules. They are excited to get everything back up and running as soon as possible. All parks are open for walking and enjoying the outdoors. Tennis courts are closed and no organized play is allowed at this time. They are also focusing on small businesses and non-profits. Keep informed on what is going on by following their Facebook to find out things such as their announcement that their Farmers’ Market is opening on Thursday, May 7 and will be open 4 – 7 p.m. on the corner of Vance Avenue and Dale Earnhardt Boulevard. They have COVID-19 precautions in place, so be sure to visit their page to find out all the details.
Sadly, we all found out recently that the Cheerwine Festival was being postponed until next year. This was done for the safety of all the citizens near and far that attend this yearly. Cheerwine and the City of Salisbury are still going to have an event online for all of us to enjoy on May 16 from 12-10 p.m. and they are calling it “The Virtual Cheerwine Festival!” Follow them on Facebook so you can stay up to date on all the activities that are coming that day! I actually just preordered my Cheerwine t-shirt and you can preorder yours and receive free shipping by joining the Cheerwine Fan Club! Also, congratulations to Johnathan Marcus Woods for having the winning design voted on by the public! I can’t wait to proudly wear my new shirt and to join in the virtual festival! Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on this fun event!
The New Farmers’ Market
My most recent blog was on the new and permanent location for the Rowan Farmers Market. Due to the pandemic, they postponed the opening to Saturday, May 9 with the hours of 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Follow them on Facebook to keep up to date on the opening. In the meantime, you can visit the local farmers in your area while looking forward to visiting them on Mother’s Day weekend!
As I close out my blog, I realize I have certainly come to meet and know a great group of people that Your Rowan has allowed me to cross paths with in this crazy thing called life. Something that stuck out to me was the fact that while I hear so many people speak negatively of Facebook and other social media…right now it is a lifeline for all the above businesses. Reach out to others, shop small businesses and restaurants, and look towards the future where we will all find our “new” normal. Until then you might as well get online!!